Thursday, 24 May 2018

#BlogBlitz The TV Detective by Simon Hall

Today it is my pleasure to take part in the Blog Blitz for The TV Detective by Simon Hall. The author brings two unlikely characters together, who become a rather interesting crime-fighting duo.

About the Author
Simon Hall is an author and journalist. He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

His books - the tvdetective series - are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published. Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.
Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets (find him @thetvdetective ) and studying pop lyrics.

About the book
Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it.

Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution though it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.

With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is a notorious local businessman, Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.

As tensions rise between Dan and the police he comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.

The TV Detective is the first book in a classic crime series from Simon Hall, who until recently was the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area.

Dan Groves is thrown into the thick of it, when he finds himself reassigned to the crime desk and in the midst of a murder investigation. I think Dan is quite surprised when he starts to enjoy the assignment that has been more or less forced upon him. Going from news on the environment to stories about crime is a big career change, although to be fair there is a lot of environmental crime nowadays. Dan has a natural instinct for the world of crime and criminals.

It's interesting how Dan seems to struggle at times between his journalistic instincts and trying to solve the crime. The choice between getting the story or catching the guilty person is one he struggles with. He also finds parallels between himself and the lead detective, and I believe he is surprised by the occasional weakness he sees in Breen.

Hall has linked two unusual characters, Breen and Groves would usually be on opposite sides of the fence in a police procedural. A journalist chasing a good story, and the police officer in charge of solving the crime and keeping the majority of the details out of the press.

It is a premise with a lot of potential. This crime-fighting duo is like pairing a Holmes with a Holmes, there is no Watson in this equation, both are equally skilled in solving cases. The author makes his characters humane by showing their vulnerabilities, despite showcasing their talents for solving crimes. There is also a frivolity about their interactions, which is seen throughout the story, and a feeling of a growing friendship.

I enjoyed the way the author bounces the solutions between the two characters, almost like a game of tag-you're-it. Dan has epiphanies, but he never quite figures out the whole picture - enter Adam. It's fun, filled with banter and it is a well-plotted crime.

Buy The TV Detective at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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